Molecular Nano weapons: Research in China and talk in the West

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By Lev Navrozov

Lev Navrozov emigrated from the Soviet Union in 1972 He settled in New York City where he quickly learned that there was no market for his eloquent and powerful English language attacks on the Soviet Union. To this day, he writes without fear or favor or the conventions of polite society. He chaired the "Alternative to the New York Times Committee" in 1980, challenged the editors of the New York Times to a debate (which they declined) and became a columnist for the New York City Tribune. His columns are today read in both English and Russian.
Lev Navrozov

February 29, 2004

Richard Feynman's article, from which it could be inferred that molecular nano assemblers would be a new post-nuclear superweapon, was published in 1959.

Feynman was a nuclear physicist, and his name was known to every nuclear physicist. An impressive array of Chinese nuclear physicists was working in China at that time on the development of nuclear weapons, and the first nuclear bomb was successfully tested in China in 1963. Many of these Chinese scientists had studied in the West, and some of them had read Feynman's article.

The next step was Eric Drexler, who considers Feynman his forerunner. Drexler's seminal book was published in 1986, that is, in the same year Project 863 was founded in China to develop post-nuclear superweapons in seven fields.

As a research associate of Drexler's Foresight Institute puts it today, a country confronted by molecular nano weapons “would be in the position of a band of spear-throwing warriors, confronted with an army deploying mass-produced guns, armored vehicles, and helicopters”.

Project 863 has not been structured as a Western academy. A Chinese scientist submits a proposal of research in a certain new promising field. If his proposal is accepted, he receives a laboratory and works on his own. Naturally, some scientists who had read Feynman's article and later Drexler's book proposed their research in molecular nano assemblers.

Were their proposals accepted? You bet! No matter how China has developed nuclear weapons, they were useless for offensive warfare, or shall we say, “unrestricted warfare,” as the two Chinese colonels entitled their book of 1999. Suppose the Chinese nuclear weapons have destroyed everything and even everyone on the U.S. territory. But there are U.S. bombers on duty high up in the air and submarines deep under water with nuclear missiles aboard. They will retaliate by annihilating China. This has been called Mutually Assured Destruction.

Now molecular nano weapons are expected to be able to find the bombers and submarines of retaliation and reduce them to dust. No retaliation, see? No Mutual Assured Destruction!

The question is: but why will a Chinese scientist help the dictators of China to maximize their might in “unrestricted warfare”?

We know and greatly respect the Chinese dissidents. But it is wrong to assume that the population of China consists of dissidents as it was wrong to assume that the population of Stalin's Russia or Hitler's Germany consisted of them.

I knew some of the Soviet scientists who had developed the “atom bomb” in Stalin's Russia by 1949. What I can say is that most human beings accept the society they are living in.

Pyotr Kapitsa came to Stalin's Russia from England, where he had been a favorite pupil of Rutherford, the founder of nuclear physics, and said that he had been used to reading the London “Times” at his breakfast every morning. A special plane brought Kapitsa a copy of the “Times” from England each morning. He said that he had been used to his laboratory in England, and it was bought from Rutherford and brought to Kapitsa. At a department store for nuclear scientists, all ladies' dresses were from Paris and all men's clothes from London. Imagine the social life. “Have you seen Natasha Kapitsa at our party? She was ravishing in her Paris designer's evening gown. All the men went crazy.”

This was when the country was still living on wartime food rations, and a suit for a young man, a friend of mine, was made out of his grandfather's suit.

Not only German gentiles, but even some German Jews, were willing to develop nuclear weapons in Hitler's Germany. The Chinese scientists had developed nuclear weapons when Mao was in his prime.

Small wonder some Chinese scientists proposed to Project 863 their research in molecular nano assemblers. And the “government money” flowed into their labs and into their accounts.

Let us now look into the democratic West.

Both Feynman and Drexler are Americans. Has this helped? The only way to survive for the United States is for the U.S. government to convert Drexler's Foresight Institute into a molecular nanotech Manhattan Project by funding it as generously as the nuclear Manhattan Project was in 1942.

If both the United States and China have molecular nano-weapons, peace will prevail because a new Mutual Assured Destruction will ensue—not with nuclear, but with molecular nanotech retaliation.

Also, in order to develop defense against molecular nano assemblers, it is necessary first to have them.

What has actually been going on?

A democracy is inclined to pacifism. Recall the democratic West in 1938. Before Hitler grabbed the “rump” of Czechoslovakia in 1939, few had been willing to face the German military danger. Today few Westerners want to face “the China threat.” This pervasive pacifism takes four forms.

1.    The “apocalypsists” deny the danger of molecular nano assemblers as a possibility for the dictatorship of China to use them as weapons, but consider the danger as a universal natural disaster.

The best known “apocalypsist” is Prince Charles in England, who fears the “end of life on earth,” killed by molecular nano assemblers.

2.    The “utopians” also foresee a universal nano calamity, but point out to a way out in utopias like “a world government.”

3.    The “blind businessman,” who can see nothing except business.

F. Mark Modzelewski, the founder and executive director of the world's fastest-growing technology association, the Nanobusiness Alliance, does not notice the possibility of weapons of global-scale molecular nano destruction because they are of no interest to business and hence to him. Just as the “atom bomb” in 1938 to 1945 was of no interest to business.

Hence when Modzelewski acts as an adviser to the U.S. government in nanotechnology or to the military, or when he testifies in U.S. Congress on the subject, he skips that unbusinesslike field of nanotechnology. As a result of such advice and testimonies, molecular nano weapons, expected to give their possessor the global military superiority or restrict it via Mutual Assured Destruction with molecular nano retaliation, have been ignored or almost ignored by the U.S. government and the U.S. Congress.

The recent U.S. Government funding bill signed into law had removed a provision that would have charged the National Academy of Sciences with studying molecular manufacturing. Modzelewski's group has taken credit for hiring lobbyists to change the bill language at the last minute to alter the provision to something nonsensical. It is as if the nuclear Manhattan Project preliminary study of old had been eliminated by the business lobby of that time.

4.    The “denialists” deny the possibility of molecular nano weapons as the “denialists” once denied the possibility of heavier-than-air machines flying (how absurd!) in the air or as the “denialists” once denied the possibility of nuclear weapons.

Many “denialists” deny the possibility of molecular nano assemblers partly because these “denialists” are nanotechnologists working in the conventional or “politically correct” fields of nanotechnology. They want government allocations coming their way, and not to fund a molecular nanotech Manhattan Project, which may absorb several times more money than all the present government allocations on all the other fields of nanotechnology put together. In dollars of 2004, the nuclear Manhattan Project absorbed from 1942 to 1945 over $100 billion, while all the present government allocations on nanotechnology amount to less than $1 billion a year.

Note that the Chinese dictators' trade surplus far exceeds $100 billion a year, and they do not need to have that sum approved by Congress as an annual allocation for molecular nano assemblers.

When I presented what I have written above in my interview to the “Chinascope” radio show, run and hosted by D. J. McGuire, author of “Dragon in the Dark” as well as president of “China e-Lobby,” one of his questions was: when? When can the United States expect the nano or other post-nuclear annihilation, with or without the ultimatum alternative of unconditional surrender?

I said that no one, not even Eric Drexler, the founder of nanotechnology and a nanoscientist of genius, can answer the question.

The D-day may be tomorrow, or it may be . . . .

No German nuclear physicist could tell Hitler when nuclear weapons would be developed, and indeed they were (in the United States) after his defeat and suicide. The Soviet rulers had been developing a weapon capable of destroying the West without Western nuclear retaliation. But it had not been developed before Gorbachev fell in 1991.

What is undeniable is that the Sino-Western molecular nano assembler race has been totally one-sided. The West has been doing nothing to avert its nano-annihilation, while the voice of even Eric Drexler, founder of nanotechnology, was a voice in the wilderness, nay, a voice, drowned out by the apocalypsists, utopians, blind businessmen, and denialists.

While I was writing this column, Putin's Russia was testing its new global hypersonic missiles, able to penetrate the U.S. “missile shield,” which President Reagan suggested in 1984, and which is still under construction. The new Russian missiles do not circumvent Mutual Assured Destruction since the United States will still be capable of striking Russia in retaliation. Something else is noteworthy. The new Soviet missiles were a complete surprise to many in the West. Some Western experts had thought them impossible. But here they are.

Similarly, molecular nano weapons may come as a total surprise and contrary to all denials, but with fatal consequences.

Lev Navrozov's (] new book is available on-line at To request an outline of the book, send an e-mail to

February 29, 2004

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